BATON ROUGE - Freshman pitcher Kevin Gausman (2-1) pitched eight solid innings of one-run baseball, but No. 5 LSU (16-3, 0-2 SEC) dropped a 1-0 decision to No. 1 Florida (17-2, 2-0 SEC) 1-0 at Alex Box Stadium.
Florida's Hudson Randall (3-0) recorded the win while pitching 6.2 shutout innings. The Gators' bullpen was equally as effective in keeping the Tigers off the scoreboard. Nick Maronde registered his first save of the season and struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth inning to preserve the win for the Gators.
Fans packed Alex Box Stadium for the second game of the series and the crowd of 10,202 was 18 short of Friday night's record mark of 10,220.
Game 3 of the three-game series will take place Sunday at 12:00 CDT in Alex Box Stadium. Live video, audio and stats of the contest may be accessed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/HDbaseball, and it can also be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network. In addition, the game will televised by Cox Sports Television.
"It was another tremendous college baseball game with two great teams battling each other," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "Kevin Gausman was like a man possessed out on the mound tonight; I thought he gave an inspiring performance against an outstanding Florida club.
"It's a disappointing loss, but the game tomorrow is just as important as tonight's game was. We've got to come back tomorrow ready to play and hope Ben Alsup provides the same type of starting pitching we've had throughout this series."
Florida scored the only run of the game in the first inning as Daniel Pigott's collected his team-leading 19th RBI on a double to right center that drove in leadoff hitter Nolan Fontana. That turned out to be the only extra base hit of the game for both teams.
Gausman settled down after the first inning and was spectacular, only surrendering four hits the rest of the way. He struck out four, and made a stellar defensive play covering first on a ground ball between first and second in the top of the seventh.
The Tigers threatened early in the bottom of the first inning but Pigott made a diving catch on a Trey Watkins deep drive to left center. LSU had runners on second and third after consecutive singles by junior Tyler Hanover and sophomore Raph Rhymes. However, Randall struck out Mikie Mahtook and Austin Nola grounded to third to end the threat.
In the top of the fourth Watkins made a sliding catch off of a hot-shot liner to rob Austin Maddox of a base hit.
The Gators failed to increase their lead in the fifth inning after three straight two-out singles loaded the bases. Gausman forced clean-up hitter Maddox to ground out to short to end the inning.
Maronde entered the game in the bottom of the eighth and logged a five-out save. He recorded four strikeouts, including three in the ninth to shut the door on LSU's comeback attempt.
Florida 1, LSU 0 (Mar 19, 2011 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Florida............. 100 000 000 - 1 5 0 (17-2, 2-0 SEC)
LSU................. 000 000 000 - 0 9 1 (16-3, 0-2 SEC)
Pitchers: Florida - Hudson Randall; Greg Larson(7); Nick Maronde(8) and Mike Zunino. LSU -
Kevin Gausman; Kevin Berry(9) and Ty Ross; Jordy Snikeris.
Win-Hudson Randall(3-0) Save-Nick Maronde(1) Loss-Kevin Gausman(2-1) T-2:38 A-11703
Actual Attendance: 10,202